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The new ways of getting a business class ticket for miles
Most major airlines changed the way they provide business class tickets for miles. Charts with set mileage requirements are no longer available. The number of needed miles is a guess and it changes based on seemingly unknown rules.
I would like to know what experience those who used the new “system” had and how it compares to the old ways? Is it much worse for customers (and much better for airlines)? Any way to learn more about how one can “beat the system” – if any method exists?
Most of the changes are for flights on each respective program’s own flights, not saver flights on partner airlines. Best uses of AA/DL/UA miles were for partners anyway and that hasnt really changed. I’d continue to look to redeem on partner airlines.
Additionally, sometimes you may find better value redeeming other airline’s miles for flights on AA/UA/DL.
For example, Virgin Atlantic miles for Delta flights, BA Avios for short haul, domestic AA flights, etc.
If you have a specific destination in mind it would be easier to give advice on the best strategy under the new dynamic mileage reward pricing. Some destinations are really tough and others are a relative bargain. Timing is also important – going to a popular tourist destination in peak season or off season matters.
The additional problem for some of us who don’t fly a lot (or on business), is that most major airlines also changed the way they allocate miles. The ticket price counts instead of the distance, so accumulating miles is also more difficult. Alaska Air is still doing it the old fashioned way, but who knows for how long. By the time I would have again enough miles for a business class ticket (by using their card for all purchases), probably they will “catch up” with the rest of the airlines and adopt the “dynamic” ticket pricing ….
I am wondering which major airline has the best program (with many partners and flexibility) for people like us who accumulate miles by using a credit card for purchases and occasionally buy miles to complement them. I have miles on Chase Sapphire, but unfortunately they do not allow me to also purchase miles, so they would not get me too far.
I’d say Alaska’s program is great for miles. They have a decent mix of partners, frequently offer sales on miles and has a credit card. You can also transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy.
You might want to consider sticking to transferable points cards, like your Chase Sapphire and transfer points when you’ve found space. Look into the Amex card or Citi cards.
You can’t “buy” more Chase points, but you can buy points through airlines they partner with, like United, to top off an account for that aspirational redemption…
Thanks. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like I can transfer my Chase reward to Alaska. I also looked into transferring the Chase points to Singapore Air but they are asking for more points than many other airlines for tickets I might be interested in (NYC to FRA). It would take me 5 years to accumulate the needed points…
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers 3x points on dining and travel, the Freedom Card offers 5x points on up to $1500 of spend each quarter on different, rotating categories, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5x points on all purchases (3x on all purchases for the first year of the card, up to $20k spend)
This covers quite a bit of bonused spend so I do recommend you to look into these carsd to boost earnings.
If you have a small business, even a sole proprietorship, you can apply for Chase’s Ink cards, which also have different category bonus’s to compliment the other cards. As long as you have one of Chase’s premium UR earning cards (Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Preferred) you can transfer points to different airlines that partner with Chase’s UR program.
Thanks, I will look into the cards, good suggestion. We have no business.